The Gospel of the Coffee Bean

[ I'm taking a break today from the "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" series, which should return in the next couple of days]There's a chapter in the forthcoming book that John and I are calling "Taste and See that the Lord is Good."  Here's a snapshot of the basic theme of the chapter: God created us to flourish and to know the joy of life.  Just as something is lost in the taste and experience of a fast food meal, so too a key part of what is lost in the industrialization of Christianity is the joy of being together, of knowing and being known in community.  Industrialized Ch … [Read more...]

Engaged with our Neighbors’ Struggles Against Injustice

This is the fourth post in an ongoing series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice“ (Link goes to the initial post in the series).In yesterday's post, I began an argument for beginning to seek justice by being committed to a local church community.  Today, I want to continue that argument by exploring the role of place as we seek justice.Our local church congregations are essential for us in seeking justice, because they are rooted in a particular place, although I must hasten to add that many churches have very shallow roots in the places where they exist.  For churches that do ha … [Read more...]

Learning how to live justly (and how to seek justice)

This is the third post in an ongoing series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice“ (Link goes to the initial post in the series).Yesterday, in unpacking Walter Brueggemann's definition of justice, I emphasized his point that essential to the process of doing justice is being part of a covenanted community that is seeking to live justly together.  Today, I want to dig a little bit deeper into why I believe that the local faith community is essential to the pursuit of justice.  First, a reminder that the primary question that I am dealing with in this series is that of the urgency felt b … [Read more...]

What is Justice?

This is the second post in an ongoing series on "Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" (Link goes to the initial post in the series).To begin our exploration of the relationship between Slow Church and justice, we need a solid definition of justice.I have the opportunity during Lent this year to speak at Church of the Redeemer Episcopal Church in Cincinnati as part of their lecture series on the theme of Sabbath (details on this event are forthcoming here on this blog). Walter Brueggemann is also speaking in this same series, and I have been told that his talks in the series will be … [Read more...]

Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice

Over the coming weeks, I'd like to wrestle here with a series of questions related to how the vision of Slow Church that John and I have been proposing here relates to justice.  The basic question is: What does Slow Church do with the (very real) pain of the oppressed? Which opens up a host of other questions, including:- Is Slow Church only for those privileged enough to live slowly?- Does the inherent slowness of Slow Church only prop up the dominant power structures of our age?- What is the role of a Slow Church in following Jesus in the Jubilee mission of liberation?- How … [Read more...]

Reading and Discussing Books in our Churches

John's church (Evangelical Quaker) and mine (Independent Christian Church) are very different, but one thing we share in common is the practice of reading and discussing books together.  One way that this practice takes shape in John's church is a monthly book club that is presently reading and discussing books that were featured in John's book (co-written with Jordan Green and Dan Gibson) Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture.Here at Englewood, we have a variety of settings in which books are read and discussed from classes during the Sunday … [Read more...]

Favor: Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities

My ebook Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities: 50 Ideas for Connection in a Disconnected Age is FREE for Kindle this weekend (through 11:59PM PT on Sunday).First of all, download a copy if you don't have one already:  http://amzn.to/GrowingDeeperGrowing Deeper (written in early 2010), was one of my first attempts to explore the practices that contribute to a deeper and richer life together in our church communities, and in that way contains some of the seeds of Slow Church.  Until the Slow Church book is released later this year (Lord willing!), there are two little books that t … [Read more...]